One Year Ago...

Monday, June 9, 2014

I'm stressed out.  I'm worried sick.  I'm constantly doubting.  I keep myself awake at night concerned over making ends meet, paying off debt, putting food on the table, keeping my kids alive/well/healthy/happy, and maintaining a faithful front that believes above all else that my God is bigger than it all.  (Anyone relate?)

How far have I fallen?  How short is my memory?  How foolish is my soul?  How flimsy is my courage?  How flailing is my trust?

One year ago today, my family traveled 2,000 on hope, faith, and the prayers of many.  We left the home, friends, and work we knew to start a new life across the country.  We packed up all of our belongings, tearfully hugged goodbye the family that surrounded us, and made the big move from California to Tennessee.

One year ago.

Can you believe it's been a year?  I can't wrap my brain around it.

We didn't have a job.  Really, we didn't even have the prospect of a job.  But, I was enrolled to start grad school last August, so the clock was ticking for us to start planting new roots in a soil rich with mystery.  We had been called to a new life...and God provided.

After a few months of unemployment, living off prayers, credit, savings, and the gifts of many, our prayers changed from "God, provide a job" to "God, thank you for providing what we need, when we need it".   The words of Paul had never seemed so clear:
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.    Philippians 4:12-13
And, God was remarkably faithful, even through our trials of doubt and fear.  He did provide what we needed when we needed it, as He deemed fit, and we are so grateful.  Josh did get a wonderful job, after four months of unemployment, and it couldn't have been more perfect for him.  As we settled into our new state, we look around us and are amazed and bewildered at God's provision in our lives.  These are the moments I am reminded that I simply don't know how people live without Jesus.  I, for one, couldn't have survived it.

Yet, here I am, a stressed out sinner, roaming my own desert like a blasphemous Israelite too shortsighted with inconvenience to remember the Jehovah Jireh that has far from forgotten me.  SOMEONE HIT ME OVER THE HEAD ALREADY!  I'm a spoiled child that's scared of an unknown future, with no record of a past that gives me any evidence to support such fear.

So now, in my disbelief, I turn to the Scriptures of Paul once more:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7
Do you have doubts? Fears? Insecurities?  I know I'm not alone in this.  There are some days that the need overwhelms the faith and I wonder how it could possibly work out.  And then, I remember back a year...just one of the many examples of God's pure, unchanging faithfulness in my life journey that shows me clearly how I am not forgotten, how I'm NOT in control, how this life is not mine for worrying.

Stress has a way of stealing from present joy.  It exacerbates all concerns and burdens me more than reality.  And, the reality is, the truth is that God is bigger.  God is present.  God is able.  GOD IS, so I don't have to be.

Peace and thanksgiving be with you today, friends.  Thank you for your incredible support over the last year as our family has transitioned through so much.  God has great things for His children, and I'm grateful for the vulnerability to share my journey with you - the gift of a growing faith is fragile and often ugly, but I'm blessed to show you an honest heart amidst the doubts, and the unchanging Word of God that proves beyond all reason that God cares.

Whatever your journey today...rejoice.

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